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Late Summer 2013

Following the end of the showing season comes the sales. This year we ventured further afield to Chelford for the first time. We had entered 3 shropshires – Rhys the ram and a couple of ewe lambs, the whole manx flock ( around 5 ewes and Roderick the ram) Mullach Llewellyn the Heb ram and Timmy ( Rowan 39). Efa’s ewe lamb was 2nd in the ewe lamb show class and Seapes Hazel our manx ewe was awarded overall reserve Primitive champion. The shrops started off the sale well with an average of £100 each. However it didn’t quite stay that way with the manx ewes and ram struggling to get £30 a head including the res champ !!! Timmy did very well and went back to his original owner for the original price so we were very happy with that. Llew was sold to Peter Titley the RBST Chairman.

The following weekend was Bryncir rare breed sale. We entered half our Hebridean flock to reduce numbers to allow more room for Dartys! Again the ewe prices were poor however all were sold. Next year we hope to have a show and Sale for the Badgers to encourage more entries and higher quality stock. The show will be judged by an official Badgerfaced judge and will be for registered stock only. Our boxed lamb sales were again popular this year and with a new abbatoir opened at Cae Iago , Llan Ffestiniog it’s a lot easier to process them and a lot nearer.


Watsdyke Rhys in the ring at Chelford

Other News

Following our success in getting Badgerfaced lamb onto the forgotten foods list of Slowfood UK we were asked to join the Recipe Bank project (http://www.slowfood.org.uk). Here we were asked to work with Gareth Johns, Head Chef at the Wynnstay Hotel Machynlleth, who was tasked with coming up with interesting recipes for our badgerfaced lamb. I'm pleased to say Gareth did a fantastic job and his recipes are well worth a try (http://www.slowfood.org.uk/ff-recipes/oen-melog-honey-lamb/) Our producer profile and his recipes are available to see on the slowfood website. The recipe bank aims to increase awareness of the forgotten foods programme and hopefully will raise the profile of the breed and support small producers like us to sell our unique product.

Catrin has now become a junior member of the badgerfaced society and has begun her own CITI Flock of Torddu’s. We purchased some ewe lambs from Mrs Bethan Watkin of Aberystwyth and also some ewes from Emyr Williams of the Gwyrfai Flock. To go with them we purchased a ewe lamb and a ram lamb ( now called Keith) from Henry Jones’s Gwynle flock. As the ewes were young and flighty we thought it was best to get an older ram in so along came Alan borrowed from Lucy Levinge’s Llwyn Onn Flock. All are doing well but there was a slight mishap when the Torwen ram decided he wanted a change of colour !! We’ll have to see what damage has been done at lambing.


The CITI Flock of Torddu’s

Tony the Pony and Efa have started going to Dwyfor Pony Club every other Wednesday and are thoroughly enjoying it. Unfortunately Tony wasn’t too keen on the cattle trailer so we had to splash out on a horse box for him! No its not that posh – it needs a bit of work and some TLC but is dads favourite word – Cheap!!

Our facebook page is continuing to be popular and its good to see many other likeminded people out there. Please keep looking out for all the latest news and photos from Hebsnbadgers on our facebook page.

RAMS

Tupping season has been and gone for some. The shrops were turned out with Hawk at the end of August and as usual even though I had sponged the ewes they repeated in dribs and drabs. Everything else was turned out around the second week in September. Vernon our Torwen ram went out with the Torwens, Tegla ram El Cyd wend out with the Darty’s, Carcross Malus to the Hebs  and Alan with the Torddus with Keith close behind. Our two ram lambs went to Golan on some of our ewes purchased by Colin from Borth y Gest. Glyn went to Trawsfynydd for the winter and Butty remains in Barmouth with Linda Bailey.


Vernon and Cyd released!!

Our facebook page is continuing to be popular and its good to see many other likeminded people out there. Please keep looking out for all the latest news and photos from Hebsnbadgers on our facebook page.

 

Summer 2013

Glorious weather has meant that we have, for once, made hay whilst the sun shines. We must thank Trefor Jones Pant Yr Hyddod for making the trip down from Betws Y Coed with the mini baler and wrapper, and for keeping calm in the face of difficult situations. Congratulations to Messrs Condell and Joseph on fine wins in the badger classes at the Royal Welsh, and to Ellie Butcher who took the Shropshire class. We did not visit the show this year, and in a way quite glad due to the high heat. Congratulations must also be extended to Dyfed and Rowena Rowlands of Anglesey who took the upland group interbreed with their Black Welsh Mountains, a wonderful result and very well deserved. Nice to see the coloured sheep making an impact.

Our self imposed sabbatical from showing will soon come to an end, with Eglwysbach, Denbigh and Fflint and Meirionnydd all on the horizon.

Meinir celebrated her 40th birthday on July 15th, and was delighted to receive a Springfield Dartmoor tup, Tirion ewe and a Tegla ewe lamb as gifts. Sadly, it means that Timmy or Rowan 39 will have to go, but we can’t keep everyone.

We attended the rare breed sale at Shrewsbury on July 27th, trade was good with record prices set for Shropshires. We came home with 2 ewes, Canalside and Sprotbrough bred, and a Piddington shearling ewe, as replacements for culls. It was nice to finally meet Mr. Richards of the Canalside flock as his sheep are the basis of our flock and have served us well. It was interesting to learn that he started his vetinary career at our local practice.




May 2013
   
It has been a busy time trying to get the show teams ready, there is little grass around and feed costs are astronomical. Our big news is that Badgerface lamb has been placed on the forgotten foods list by SlowFood UK, and we are honoured that they selected a photo of the Anelog flock to represent the breed on the publicity material. We were also approached by journalist and foodie, Sudi Piggot to give our views on what it means for us as breeders to have the breed promoted in such a way, the article will hopefully be in the Independent to coincide with slow food week on 1st to the 9th of June.


Easter 2013

The coldest Easter in many years, but we were very lucky here with only a very light dusting of snow.

Lambing is now complete, a few losses due to the cold and a persistant Borth Y Gest fox, but otherwise quite pleased. Our entries for the Spring Festival at Builth have been sent, but for the first time we will not be entering Badgers, nor primitives, sticking to the Shropshires and Dartmoors.

The Hebrideans featured in the March issue of Country Smallholding magazine. We supplied a photo for Tim Tyne to use in his My best breeds article.


March 2013

Lambing is well and truly upon us, a lot of twins and for the first time ever two sets of badger triplets. There are some good strong lambs in the Shropshire’s and the badgers are exceptionally well marked this year. We are now officially Dartmoor breeders, Doris our Tirion ewe delivered a ewe lamb in the early hours of February 28th, first member of the newly created Anelog flock and an instant hit on the Dartmoor breeders face book page.  Show schedules are starting to come out and decisions will have to be made as to where we go this year, one thing is for sure we will not be going to as many shows.

Robin has been asked to judge the Badgerface section at Nefyn and Denbigh and Fflint shows, he will also take care of the primitives and rare classes at Nefyn. He was originally asked to also do the young handler classes but declined as Efa and Catrin are looking forward to taking a couple of the bottle fed lambs.




January 2013

Sorry for the lack of updates, but as always there are not enough hours in the day.

We were lucky enough to escape for a weeks holiday in France at the start of the year, many thanks to Robin’s parents who kept an eye on things for us. We visited Les Rousses; a quiet ski station in the Jura mountains favoured more by the French themselves than the Brits. There wasn’t a lot of snow when we arrived but nearly 30cm fell in one day, making traveling a little difficult but sledging a must! The girls were introduced to skiing, by their Father, and Efa proved herself quite capeable, Catrin seemingly having inherited her Mothers clumsy streak.

Three Shropshire ewes that had been purchased in lamb have delivered two sets of twins, and a set of triplets, every available piece of wood is being touched in the hope that we may avoid any Schmallenberg infections. The rest of the Shropshires and the Badgers will start lambing from this weekend, with the Dartmoors, Manx and Hebrideans following on.




November 2012

The rams have done their job for another year and are now being taken out for a well earned rest. We are suffering from very wet ground, as are most farmers, due to the recent heavy and persistent downpours, a nice long dry spell would be nice. The turkeys are growing well, and may well be heavier than last years lot. The chickens are on strike, producing only one egg a day at most. Many have moulted, and the weather does not suit them at all.

Our membership to the Dartmoor Sheep Breeders Association has been confirmed, bringing the total of registered flocks bearing the prefix of Anelog to five.

Robin was persuaded to have his name put forward for a vacancy on the Badgerface Society committee, and he was duly elected at the AGM in Builth earlier in the month. Efa has been confirmed as the winner of the Shropshire Sheep Breeders association Hornpipe Quaiche, awarded each year to the highest points scorer under 21 yrs exhibiting Shropshire sheep. Andrew Forgrave of the Daily Post ran a short article about her achievement in the Farm & Country supplement, and we are very proud of her success.


 


Autumn 2012

The autumn ram sales are upon us and we have said goodbye to Butty our show ram for the last couple of years who has gone to a good home with Jenny Langford in Cheshire. He has served us well in the ring,and as a stock ram and he didn’t let us down at the NSA sale at Builth, taking the Torwen ram class and the overall Torwen male title. We also sold Jamie, Butty’s have brother to T G King Bryncrwn.

We shall be taking a few Hebrideans and Torwen’s to the Rare breed sale at Bryncir on October 6th, making a bit more room for the new Shropshire’s and for the newly formed Anelog flock of Greyface Dartmoors. Rowan 39, affectionately known as Timmy, is settling in nicely with his 3 ewes, and we look forward to our first lambs in spring.




September

We apologise for the lack of updates to the showing page, but it has been a very full on season, and with work commitments its hard to keep track of everything. We have expanded our rare breed portfolio further with the addition of three Greyface Dartmoor ewes, birthday gifts for Meinir, and an instant hit with all the family.

We attended the 10th National Sale of Rare Breeds at Melton Mowbray on the 7th and 8th of September. For the first time we had entered two shearling Hebrideans, Anelog Anni and Arian. Anni, the twin of the shearling that has been shown all year, was shown in the pre sale show in a large class of 25 plus. Judge Eric Medway took the traditional route of letting the sheep loose and pointing out those he wanted to look at closer. Never having shown in this way it was hard trying to keep her in sight, and its suprising how alike they look when all running together! Mr. Medway selected 8 and we were pleased that Anni was one, no further accolades were gained, but still pleasing to be picked out especially as she was not showing herself well at all. Congratulations to Cathy Cassie who took the championship and who went on to win the primitive interbreed judged by Countryfiles Adam Henson. The overall interbreed winner was a very handsome Teeswater ram.

There were a small number of Shropshire’s in attendance, and Robin was soon called upon to steward the showing classes. Word has spread of Efa’s showing ability, and she was called upon to assist Alan Oliver, and Les Newman collecting red rosettes for both along the way. Three Shropshire ewes were purchased from the Brereton flock, a Hebridean ram Carcross Malus, and also a Greyface ram Rowan 39, known as Tim, it was a long wait to get him as he was the last ram through the ring, but he’s worth it. We also collected 4 young Turkeys on the way home to fatten for Christmas.

The rams have now been turned loose, and we await the results in the Spring. Efa has entered the Shropshire Sheep Breeders Hornpipe Quaiche competition, where members under 21 enter their best results of the year and are awarded points for the placings. Last year she was placed second after showing only one lamb for most of the year, fingers crossed for a good result this year.


Summer 2012

The badgerface sheep have been entered into the Royal Welsh for the first time ever with three making the trip. The badger classes are well known for the high entry numbers, so top 6 in any class will be an achievement, let’s hope the sheep are to Mr. King’s liking. It’s a shame that the Shropshires aren’t going, but as we are not MV they must stay at home. Watch our showing page for updates.

We are pleased to announce that the Badgerface Sheep Society have selected a picture of one of our ewes for their 2012 Christmas card, which will hopefully be available at the agm. After two shows, Efa is leading the Daily Post Sheep Of  The Year competition, and not just the rare breed section but overall, not bad for a seven year old. It may not last so we are celebrating now!
 

July 2012

Summer should be here by now, but bar the odd nice day, it’s been mostly wet and miserable. The shearing has been done in batches on those precious dry days, making the sheep feel the weather even more.  

Showing has also been affected by the weather, with Bethesda, Caerwys and Aberystwyth shows were all cancelled on June the 9th. The decision to cancel a show is never taken lightly, and it’s a shame that the organizers hard work, which goes on through the year not just on show day, was wasted. We have entered a number of shows, the completion of the entry forms for all the breeds being almost a full time job.

On June 30th we attended the Annual Show and Sale of Traditional and Rare Breed Livestock at Halls Auction centre Shrewsbury. We had never attended the sale before, but as its the Shropshire Sheep Society show and sale, it was well worth a visit. The vast majority of entries were Shropshires, but there were also a few Hebrideans, Shetlands, Castlemilk Moorits and Greyface Dartmoor’s. We came home with 3 Shropshire ewes with an eye towards future breeding not showing. It was nice to meet up with members of the society that we had previously met and meet a few new ones.

The North Wales show is our next show at Caernarfon July 7th, but first the task of halter training the lambs!!


Spring 2012

Lambing has finally come to an end. This year we’ve had mostly singles from all the breeds which is great in one way but as prices are sky high a shame in another. Some of the early Shropshire lambs have now been weaned, however our lambing % has been very low this year, and Rhys our main ram turned out to be very shy with 8 lambs out of 40 ewes, luckily Marvin our Cheviot ram managed to cover the rest of them. Watsdyke Rhys’s lack of effort meant that the main commercials were fairly late this year typical as I wanted to sell them as couples early on!


Lambing at dawn

This years aim is to increase the Shropshire flock, and we are looking forward to the main sale in a couple of months time. Very few decent Torwens this year once again however the Hebridean lambs are very nice indeed. The hebs once more lambed alone without any help, but thanks to thoughtless walkers leaving gates open, they have escaped a few times even getting as far as Porthmadog!!  The Manx have been disappointing with high losses due to foxes and inexperienced mothers.
    
       
    
Its nearly show time again and preparations are underway for the new show year. The first show is Nefyn on May 7th, and as always we are underprepared. This year we have decided to donate shields for the Badgerface and Primitive classes, as they were the only classes in the show without trophies. We have also entered the Smallholder festival at Builth.

There has been a shake up of land once again. We have given up Gwernddwyryd, it was a large area to manage and as we are trying to keep our sheep to a minimum, it wasn’t going to work out. We have rented a couple of fields closer in Tremadog, and although not the best of grazing land and rather marshy it does come with useful outbuildings and is nearby. We also have Abergafren in Minffordd which is a lovely holding where the Torwens are thriving.

We attended a Rare Breed Survival Trust workshop at Rugby Farmers Mart, Stoneleigh Park recently, covering card grading, breed descriptions, showing and judging. It was a well attended workshop, and it was nice to meet up with old acquaintances and make some new ones. One thing that stood out was the shame of seeing the old Royal of England showground so woefully under used.

        
Left– Carol Kempson explaining a few of the Manx Loaghtan’s finer points to the judge in the primitive judging workshop. Right – Meinir making friends with Darren Cassie’s Hebridean ewe.

Finally we would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Helena Searson, fellow shower and primitives breeder, who has not been well recently, we know that you are strong and will get through this. Our condolences also on the sad passing of Brian Kempton, a stalwart of the Badgerface society who died suddenly earlier this year and will be sorely missed.
 
  
January 2012

We had three early Christmas presents on the 20th of December with the safe delivery of our first ever Shropshire lambs. The triplets are all doing well, with one adopted as a pet lamb for Catrin. Efa is also celebrating being the second most successful exhibitor of Shropshire sheep, under 21yrs, in the UK, not bad for her first year.



On the 26th of November we arranged a Christmas party for our fellow showers at the Glanaber Hotel Betws Y Coed. Hopefully it will be an annual event, but with different organisers each year!!




Christmas 2011

May we wish all our readers and customers a very Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i’n holl gwsmeriaid a darllenwyr.


Autumn 2011

Tupping is well underway with all rams now out and about. Unfortunately a few of the Shropshires have repeated service (again im having no luck with sponges! And now they’ve been served by the Torwen ram!) and we also lost one of our shropshire yearlings. The Torwens were also sponged but again about half of them have repeated so once more lambing will be a drawn out affair. This year we have used TWRS 1 ( Butty – this years champion ram ) together with a shearling purchased last year from Banc, Talley. They have now been removed and TWRJ32 is now in for the remainder of the season. One of our rams has gone on his holidays to Mrs Bailey in Barmouth.

The turkeys are growing very well indeed and we are looking forward to seeing how heavy they will be for Christmas. There has been less call for our boxed lamb this year however with prices remaining buoyant in the markets I’m not complaining. The high prices are however preventing me from expanding the flock and we seem to have a glut of grass at present. This has been further extenuated by the fact we've taken on more grazing in Minffordd.



           Ewe lambs                                       Bronze Turkeys for Christmas

The theory this year is to try and keep a closed flock of Torwens, so im not looking to buy in any ewe lambs and try and develop our own flock. The decision proved to be a wise as the quality of some of the entries at this years show and sale were very poor, especially the ram lambs. I believe that the lack of inspections is having a detrimental effect on the quality of the stock, with many undesirable traits creeping through. We have therefore decided to stick to what we believe are the right traits – small ears - good markings etc and develop our flock from there.

On October the 1st, our local auction centre at Bryncir held their first ever Rare and Native breed sale of sheep, cattle, poultry and pigs. We entered 4 Hebridean lambs, 2 aged ewes and Rufus the shearling ram, along with 4 Torwen ewe lambs and Swanley the Shropshire petlamb. We were keen to support the initiative, but were a little worried that there would be a lack of buyers, but living so close the option was there to bring them home. On the day we could not have been more wrong, all the Hebrideans went for respectable prices, as did the Badgers, Swanley was the only one to come home. The auctioneers themselves were thrilled with the success, and are looking to arrange a sale in the spring as well.

October 8th we made the long trek to York looking for breeding ewes. We were a bit disappointed with the turnout but came home with Brightside Melvich, and an ewe lamb Mullach Necrobia. We have also welcomed Tony the Pony to the family, a 5 year old Cremello section a gelding, a much longed for pony for the girls. We have little experience with horses, and are learning every day.


September 2011

As the shows are now finished, we can look back at our most successful year ever, the trophies on the dresser are testament to that.

When the shows finish, the sale season starts. We are pleased that our local auction centre at Bryncir are staging a sale of native and rare sheep, cattle, poultry and pigs October 1st, and are proud to support them with stock to sell. We visited Melton sale and purchased a couple of Shropshires and made many new friends amongst the breeders. We will also visit the Badgerface sale at Builth on the 19th, but will probably miss Llanymddyfri this year. As no Manx or Hebs were purchased at Melton, we will most probably make the trek north to York once more.

Efa and Swsi are included in the summer edition of Shroptalk the Shropshire sheep society newsletter. Breed president Pippa Geddes invited us to submit a photo and give a brief history of Efa’s involvement with the breed for inclusion, and also invited Efa to try for the Junior Shropshire Quaich, a competition where points are scored in 6 shows by those under 21. We cross our fingers for a good result.

We had a brief break during August, and took the chance to visit Adam Hensons’ Cotswold Farm Park. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it, and we realized how lucky they are living amongst animals, many of the children there had never seen farm animals at close range before.
 

June 2011

Where did May go?? It’s been a very busy few weeks with the Smallholders show and on the farm in general. Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been dry enough or warm enough and also haven’t really had the time to get around to shearing yet. The silage is growing slowly – too slowly! Looks as if it won’t be ready for a few weeks yet! The potatoes are growing well and we are looking forward to trying some in the near future, however, everything else is very slow growing. We had to get rid of Sid the cockerel as he attacked once too often, and I can’t say I’m sad to see him go, but we were sad to lose Dotty duck who passed away quietly in her sleep. With Efas success in Nefyn we decided to go into a new breed once again and have purchased a small starter flock of Shropshire ewes and shearlings from Mrs H Power of Chorley Shropshire. They have settled in well and are a lot larger than what we are used to and no doubt take some keeping! We have also bought a Shropshire ram called Rhys from the Watsdyke flock in Pen y ffordd, Fflint. The plan is to aim for a xmas lambing indoors and get them out in February before the other flocks start lambing – but knowing my luck with sponges and tupping they will no doubt take no notice of the tight schedule!

Preparations are again underway for the forthcoming Bethesda show and also Caernarfon in early July. The lambs have been weaned off the show sheep and hopefully they will gain a bit more condition. All of last years lambs have now gone for Boxes and this years lambs are looking very healthy with some lovely cheviot x lleyn ewe lambs. Unfortunately Marvin the cheviot ram is surplus to requirements this year and is now for sale, as Rhys the Shropshire will now be the main commercial sire. I have only just finished topping all the fields for bracken and rushes and now its time to start all over again. Nel is taking an interest in the sheep and hopefully is showing some promise. Shearings a bit late this year as my machine has burnt out after a very hard life – but hopefully will be fixed shortly.  


Easter 2011

Lambing has finally finished!!  We’ve had a pretty good season but are short on lambs this year as we had mainly single lambs – many of which are ewe lambs. This is good news as were looking to expand the flock once more as we’ve had a shake up of land ! We’ve now rented out the land in Aberdaron which was proving costly with the logistics and cost of fuel. We have also given up the land in Portmeirion however have managed to rent 30 acres of rough ground half a mile up the road called Gwernddwyryd. The only problem now is we don’t have enough sheep!!! Hopefully that will be rectified later on in the year.

The pups are growing well and one has already gone with another one due to go next week. April has flown by and were now staring down the throat of show season once more. With less than a week until the Nefyn show and three weeks until the smallholders were never going to be ready! Unfortunately the show team haven’t turned out as well as expected this year so my hopes aren’t that high. So shows are our next priority then shearing and silage.




March 2011

We are pleased to announce the safe arrival of 4 healthy puppies to our sheepdog Fly. There were originally six, but only the four survived 3 males and one bitch. Fly is proving to be an excellent mother, and they are growing at an alarming pace. Nel, the only bitch, will be staying with us, and Spot is destined for a very different life in Hartlepool with our niece Angharad.

We have started lambing, but still have a long way to go. The Hebs are taking care of matters by themselves as usual, lambing at night and out of sight. The badgers are coming along slowly but surely. It’s always difficult to tell if there are any good prospects at this early stage, we shall have to wait and see how they get on.

Swanley and Dwynwen are also new arrivals to the Jones family and as you might guess by the names they are the property of our daughters Efa and Catrin. They are twin Shropshire lambs, destined for the pet lamb show circuit with Efa.


  

January 2011

Wishing a happy new year  to all our family, friends and customers!

Scanning normally takes place around late December but due to the weather we had to leave it until the first week of January. Jenna Thompson from Sheepscan Meirion, arrived bang on time to scan the hebs and the badgers. 2011 looks like a singles year with 130% lambing percentage and thankfully no barren ewes. As always the show sheep who you would like to have singles are carrying twins!. Fly was also scanned but it was too early to tell. Lambs have started to appear in the fields of Pen Llyn and excitement is growing as we look forward to ours lambing towards the end of February.


 
 
December 2010

Winter has come a month earlier than we hoped though we haven’t been deluged with the white stuff like many areas, the frost has been severe. This has killed off what grass was left and resulted in having to buy in very expensive hay!

The rams have been at work for a while now, and we are looking forward to a nice crop of lambs come the spring, lets hope the weather improves to give them a good start.

We have had a very enthusiastic response to our grazing of the nature reserve at Borth Y Gest, our thanks goes to David Medcalf who has recently undergone a livestock course, and is keeping a daily eye on things as well as finding some new customers for our boxed lamb.

Fortunately the chickens are continuing to lay through the cold weather and next years show lambs have now been housed. Christmas came and went, as did Pero the amorous sheepdog from the farm down the road! Our collie Fly may well be expecting puppies next March – bang in the middle of lambing!


 
 
October 2010

It has been a very busy few weeks with all the sales. First off was a long trip  to Melton Mowbray for the rare breeds sale. We were disappointed with the number of entries in the hebs and suprised at the prices they were fetching – way up on last year. We managed to buy a couple of small ewe lambs for a customer but otherwise came away empty handed. The following weekend was Builth NSA sale where entries were very low for the Torwens and unfortunately none of the ewe lambs apart from the very expensive ones took our eye. We did manage to purchase a nice shearling from Mr Page. Llanymddyfri was the weekend after. With 400 entries there should have been plenty to choose from but again we found it difficult to find some we liked. Having missed out on a couple of bids we finally managed to get a nice ewe lamb and ram lamb from Mr Williams Banc, Talley. The following weekend saw us travel up to York. As we started off up the M62 following a night in the services we were surprised to be hooted and shouted at by a vibrant John Toppan driving up the middle lane! There were plenty to choose from however they proved to be very expensive and Meinir was keeping a close eye on her budget! We came away with a couple of shearlings and a ewe lamb and 3 ewe lambs for someone else. All the rams have been set loose, the boxed lambs have been sold, however there are still some lambs left, so we can start to relax and look forward to next years offspring.
  

September 2010

Summer is almost over – well it feels like it anyway! Normally the lambs are finished and gone by now however it’s been a very poor year and we've only sold a handful to date with over 50 remaining. We've had a large clearout of ewes and are looking forward to the forthcoming sales to bring in some new stock. Fly our new sheepdog has settled in well – the kids adore her but her work lacks a bit of ‘finesse’. All our cockerels have been culled and were preparing for winter. Unfortunately our 6 turkey eggs failed to hatch so looks like either chicken or duck for Christmas!  The autumn fruit harvest has begun, and were finishing off the garden veg! We’ve recently sold a hebridean starter flock to Mr and Mrs Chard of Llwynbedw, Nasareth consisting of Giffard the ram and four ewes.

We are now also grazing the National Nature Reserve, Parc y Borth, Borth y Gest which is around 7 acres in total. It has been mismanaged in the past and we are now working closely with the reserve Warden to try and bring it back into favourable condition. It was a very long trek from Aberdaron to Borth y Gest with the David Brown tractor with no foam left on the seat and a top speed of 15mph but we made it on bank holiday Saturday to the annoyance of many of the holiday makers. A long way to top the bracken but was necessary.

We are also in the process of creating new Anelog team wear for next year and other products such as Christmas cards etc. We will also be updating the look of the website with a new gallery.
    




Torwens in Borth-y-Gest
 

August 2010

It’s been a very busy month, and both owners and sheep are getting very tired from all the preparation and traveling to and from shows.

September will also hold a lot of traveling with the various ram sales. This year, we will travel to Melton Mowbray rare breed sale instead of York, to see what is available, we won’t be taking stock this year having sold some surplus stock privately, but will be in the market for some new breeding ewes.

The Badger Face society sale is also held at Builth in September, and the search may be on for a new ram, we will also visit the coloured wool sale at Llanymddyfri.
 

July 2010

The sunny weather may have gone, but we welcome the rain making the grass grow.

Peppa and George our orchard pigs have gone to slaughter, we are selling one in halves and keeping the other for our freezer, they had both become quite large and difficult to move so it was time for them to go, but the place does feel strange without them.

We have had a new addition to the family, Fly a 5 year old sheep dog on trial to see how she does with the sheep, and the family. So far she has done fairly well with the sheep, and fantastically well with the kids, but unfortunately not with one of the Aylesbury ducks, who was unfortunate enough to receive a paw to the neck.

We have received numerous enquiries about the hebs since our television appearance at the smallholders, and our eldest Efa was shown with her pet lamb on a tv program featuring young animal handlers leading up to the Royal Welsh.

We wish to extend our congratulations to Henry Jones, Nefyn on becoming Royal Welsh Torddu champion with his shearling ram, and also for taking the group crown. He helped us a lot in our early showing days with tips on trimming etc for which we are very grateful. Congratulations also to Lis Dawson, our other sheep guru, who took the group title with her Black Welsh Mountain trio.

We are gearing up for a very busy August with Anglesey, Eglwysbach, Llanrwst, Flint & Denbigh and Meirionnydd shows all in the space of 3 weeks, its going to be very tough going.


April 2010

Spring is definitely in the air! Dotty the Cayuga duck has started laying, the first egg shell was almost black but they have gradually lightened to a pale green. Six of the eggs have been placed in a newly acquired incubator, a 35th birthday present for Robin.

Rudy the light Sussex hen has been an excellent broody and hatched out all 10 of her eggs, two chicks was sadly trampled, but 8 out of 10 isn’t bad, a combination of a Red Dorking, 2 Rhode Island reds, and 5 Light Sussex. This was our first experience of hatching, and we thank Abigail Jones of Cwmpenanner Poultry for supplying the fertile eggs. The day old chicks purchased are growing at an outstanding rate, and seem to be constantly eating or drinking.

The pigs are settling in nicely and are enjoying attempting to excavate the foundations of their home. They are definitely getting used to us, and our arrival is greeted with a chorus of snorts.

Part of the orchard has been prepared for veg planting, potatoes and onions having already been put in. The conservatory has been put over to seed development, currently cultivating broccoli, leeks, courgette, cauliflower, peas, French beans and even more onions.

Nefyn show will be our first outing this year, followed two weeks later by the Smallholders festival at Builth. We seem to be, again, woefully ill prepared, and will have to wait until later in the season to see any real results. Our eldest daughter Efa has entered her pet lamb Tom Bach, and was so proud to receive her competitor number in the post, she went completely to pieces with excitement.
 
 
March 2010

Apologies for the lack of updates, but technical hitches with the computer have prevented us from posting news.

The new shed is up and operational allowing us to lamb at home for the first time, and also to house the show sheep. Lambing is in full swing with the majority of the commercial and Torwen flocks having given birth, the Hebrideans to follow later. We have been very impressed with the offspring of our new Cheviot ram with an almost perfect 200% lambing rate.

There have been a few problems as usual such as the weather and lack of grass at turnout however they’ve come through quite well and we still have plenty of silage left.



Other news, the hens are laying well and we are building up a customer base amongst family, friends and work colleagues. The ducks are not yet laying, but they seem to be full of the joys of spring! The poultry have been joined in the orchard by Peppa and George, 10 week old weaners purchased from Jack Bee of Ceunant. This is our first time as pig keepers so we have a lot to learn. We’ve also acquired some table birds and look forward to home roast chicken in the summer.



Robin, and last years show ram Siwgr are featured in Tim Tyne’s new book The Sheep Book for Smallholders. We visited Tim last summer for assistance in turning Siwgr’s horn which was growing too far inwards, and photos of the process and result are featured on page 175.

The Anelog flock of Hebrideans is also featured in The Black Sheep, the yearbook of the Hebridean Sheep Society. Meinir submitted an article on how we came to choose Hebrideans, and we are very pleased to have had it accepted and published along with a full page photo of Barny the ram. Barny also gets a very favorable review from Darren Cassie who was judge at the York show and sale in October.



Unfortunately, a computer blip saw the Anelog Hebrideans omitted from this years flock book along with all other breeders with surnames start with J, an error which will soon be rectified with a specially printed insert.   The first show schedules of the season are out and we are looking forward to getting back to halter training and trimming.
 

January 2010

Happy New Year to all our friends and customers. It’s been a fairly busy few weeks. Jenna Thompson from Sheepscan Meirion came to scan the pedigree flocks of Torwens and Hebrideans just before Christmas and it seems we have more singles than twins this year, which is surprising as they were flushed in plenty of grass. However, I always prefer singles to twins especially to sell as lambs. I have finally managed to clear the jungle that is our orchard and the chickens have been moved there to enjoy the larger area. Unfortunately Crispy our sole surviving magpie duckling was taken by the fox in daylight and in full view of our children from the bedroom window. Poor Catrin was very traumatised however Efa is taking a positive approach and looking forward to more chicks!

5 of our Torwens also went on holiday to John Jones Toppan’s ram to try and introduce some new blood.  Planning has also come through for our new sheep shed at Tyn y Berllan, which hopefully will be up in time for lambing!   Christmas came far too quickly and with it some significant snow and cold weather so we broke open the first of our silage bales. Although it is nice to see the snow it also brought with it a few complications such as increased feeding, icy roads and an enforced delay in digging footings for the new shed. It did however give an opportunity for some snowy photos!


Falling Foul of the weather! - Badgers in the snow - Hebs at Castell Deudraeth

We will soon be picking the show team and starting with the housing and halter training. Lambing is also creeping up with the first due on Valentines day. Until then keep warm and best wishes for the new year!


October 2009

We’ve had a very busy few weeks what with moving and the Autumn sales. First up was the Society Show and Sale at the NSA Ram Sales in Builth. We had decided after much deliberation that Siwgr was surplus to requirements so he was to be sold along with his son Owie the ram lamb and three other ewe lambs. Siwgr was 6th in the show and Twp 103 came a very close 4th out of a very strong line up. Prices were fairy good and we received an average of £90 for the ewe lambs, £140 for Siwgr and Owie came below his asking price and was later sold at home. We also purchased a nice ewe lamb from W Morgan and a shearling ewe from Mr King.

Prices were much better down in Llanymddyfri the following weekend with ewes having a cracking trade however show quality lambs were few and far between but we managed to purchase a pair of pretty ewe lambs which came third in the show from the Gwenllan Flock, Llandysul. These were at our limit of spending and hopefully will prove a good investment for the future. It was well worth the 3 hour trip down and we may consider selling there in the future if the prices and entry fees are better than at Builth.

The following weekend saw us on the road once more, and on our way to the York Rare & Minority Breed Sale. Meinir had reluctantly decided to sell Barny the prizewinning Hebridean ram together with one of the ewe lambs. Barny once again proved his worth by winning the senior ram class in the society show, judged by Darren Cassie. He sold for £95, third highest price for a ram on the day, and attracted a lot of attention, which was very pleasing as it shows we are on the right track as far as stock selection goes.  Olwen, the ewe lamb, sold for £20, but she was only entered to see what interest there would be in stock from a new breeder, and to see how she compared with the others available.


Pics:
Meinir with Barney in York - Henry with TWP103 in Builth - Robin with Siwgr in Builth


August 2009

Apologies for being slow with the updates but we’ve had a very busy few weeks. We have moved house to Tyn y Berllan, Penmorfa. A very quick decision had to be made and we seized the opportunity. It’s a far bigger house but more importantly has a large garden and half an acre orchard. Since moving in we have now acquired some hens – 4 Lohmann Browns and 4 Light Sussex. I also couldn’t resist bringing home a couple of day old Magpie ducklings to add to the menagerie!  Also in the news this month we’ve sold some ewes to Mr Payne in Llanbedr and a ram lamb to Mrs Linda Baily of Barmouth.,and have also purchased a couple of ewe lambs from Mr Charles Arch. We have been busy sorting out the ewes for tupping and giving sponges a go this year. I’ve never had much joy with them in the past but give it one more go! We were very pleased to have a photo of the Torwens featured in the new Badgerface Society Calendar, launched at this year’s Royal Welsh Show, the Anelog girls are June pinups. We are looking forward to the Badgerface Society Sale at Builth September 21st, and also to the rare breed sale at York October 2nd and 3rd. In the meantime there is a lot of work to be done at home clearing the orchard in readiness to grow our own fruit and veg next year.


Lots of work needed to clear the Orchard with brambles 6ft + in places!!!


Our first Hens taking in their new home

7th July 2009


It’s been a busy few weeks. I’m happy now all the shearing has finished and we’ve got the silage in – not as dry as we’d hoped but the forecast was for rain so it had to be done. Meinir has purchased a new Hebridean shearling ram from Helen Arthan of Malpas in Cheshire. Giffard as he is known has settled in well and will have his first outing in the Trefor Show next weekend.  Many thanks to Helen for her welcome and introducing us to some of her lovely Jet flock and red poll cattle. Two of our ram lambs were registered at the Caernarfon Show at the weekend. We’ve also had the schedule for the main show and sale in September for which we are gathering a few ewe lambs and possibly one or both of the ram lambs, and also playing with the idea of parting with Siwgr if the price is right! Next weekend the majority of the lambs will be weaned and any that are ready will go to market.


Photos of Gifford, left photo with Helen Arthan

June 2009

Following a busy start to the season, May has been busy with the halter training and general upkeep of the sheep. Now June has arrived and the weather finally becomes a bit more summery! Normally the ewes are shorn in mid May but due to the last few wet weekends it has had to wait until now. Orf has continued to be a problem with the hebs this spring with a type of Orf that I haven’t come across before – where it occurs on the foot rather than the mouth. Hopefully they will have time to recover and be ready for the next show. The grass is growing strongly and the silage is ready for cutting. We have already had a few enquiries regarding ewes for sale and should have a few ewe lambs for the society sale in September. Enquiries for boxed lamb are coming in slowly and still some left. The first ones should be ready for slaughter next month.


Halter Training


Shearing


What ewe laughing at?!

April 2009


Most of the lambs have arrived by now apart from a few late stragglers. Gaynor proved a great disappointment by producing a nice but black ram lamb. With lambing almost over our attention turns to the forthcoming show season. With entries for Nefyn Show and Smallholders already in we begin the task of halter training. The first outing proved to be quite challenging with even last years show lambs being slightly difficult and jumpy. Siwgr takes after his father and has the same tendency to pose on the halter.


Meinir halter training an unwilling shearling


Glyn going through his refresher lesson


Experienced show team – still a bit rusty!

So for the next few weeks in the run up to the first show, we shall be busy with continuous halter training and final preparations, including a thorough wash to get out all the winter dirt. The heb’s on the other hand don’t require much preparation however, currently resemble walking gorse bushes and are still as wild as anything! Now lambing’s finished its also time to vaccinate against blue tongue.
 

We are now officially Hebridean breeders !!
7/3/09

Anelog Branwen was born to one of the Ty Newydd ewes. Meinir has decided to name them after characters from the Mabinogion Folk tales – we felt it was safer than letting Efa choose the names ! Branwen was swiftly followed by Olwen and Bendigeidfran.




More Hebsnbadgers! 14/2/09

Lambing has started with the first lamb of the year – single ewe lamb from Sub25 on the day Wales beat England in the six nations! Also more hebs have arrived from Paul Turkentine 2 ewe lambs and a ram lamb, which we will add to the main show team for 2009. Efa has christened the new ram Goliath after her favourite Gladiator!



Email us: robin@hebsnbadgers.co.uk - meinir@hebsnbadgers.co.uk